Why we saved our kiss for our wedding day

I did not have a category for the type of dating relationship I would experience with my future husband as I was growing up. In my mind I would go off to college, meet a guy, date for a few years, get engaged my senior year, then get married a little while after once we both had jobs. We would fall in love and we would save sexual intimacy for our wedding, but kissing, even making out was A-okay in my book for quite some time. So if you had told me I would meet my husband, date him, get engaged and never kiss him until we were at the altar on our wedding day I would have laughed. This just wasn't something I even considered. 

{Disclaimer: this is not at all a post about why kissing is bad or why you shouldn't do it before you wedding, this is just our story :)}

So when I met Ben and talked to him for the first time (read story here) I knew something had to change in the way I was going about dating guys. I had been hurt in the past, and had allowed myself to be too vulnerable with the guys I dated before Ben. So I had purposed in my mind before I met him to guard my heart. Cliche statement that we all heard in youth group growing up huh? Well it may be cliche but it is something that needs to happen in a God-honoring relationship I believe.

I had always struggled physically in my dating relationships. I loved being affirmed by the guy in my life through kissing, touching, or even yes making out. I managed to still draw vague "lines in the sand" for us to not cross, but I was in no means bringing honor and glory to my Heavenly Bridegroom in the way I was interacting with my boyfriend. I wanted to do things differently, I did not want to continue to wrestle with guilt that was bound to come after a heavy make out session that seemed so appropriate at the time. And then I met Ben.

We were so intentional to guard ourselves early on in our relationship. To the point that many thought we were weird or extreme. That was okay though, I felt peace. I was able to be in a relationship without guilt and felt as if we were truly pursuing things in a Biblical and God-honoring way. It was so refreshing. We talked about physical boundaries very early on, and made the decision to save our kiss for our wedding day. It was something we both felt would protect us, and so we did it. 

But let me be honest, it was insanely hard for me. And for Ben also, but there were times I was literally begging Ben to kiss me, and trying to convince him that no one would know (confessions of a real sinner right here)...it was very challenging for us. Especially after we were engaged. I knew he was going to be my husband, it was only a matter of time, but I couldn't kiss him. At times it was torture. I say all that to just be real with you all, I do not want to paint myself as some saint when this was a very hard decision for me to live out. 

We found other ways to affirm our affections for each other through holding hands and such. Many people asked, "what if he is not a good kisser or you find out you are not physically attracted to him once y'all kiss for the first time"...well to that I say, my God is so big. He orchestrated everything down to the little details of mine and Ben's story, I know he will not disappoint me when it comes to physical fulfillment. Guess what? I loved kissing him, it was so natural, and wonderful. There was no guilt or shame for me when we kissed on that perfect day, it was such a picture of Christ's bride the church being presented blameless, without blemish, to her bridegroom, Jesus. (Ephesians 5:27)

A couple verses that led me to this decision, and ultimately Ben as well were:

"Encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters in all purity." (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

We felt as if this verse was very clear that before marriage we were to interact with one another as brother and sister in Christ. Sounds a little weird? Well, siblings show affection to one another but it is only affection, it is not passionate. So we felt that kissing would be passion for us and so therefore we should stay away from that until we were bound by the covenant of marriage.

"Finally then brothers , we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more...For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust as the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter...For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-7)

The will of the Lord and what we are called to is sanctification. Not passion, so if kissing becomes something of passion, gratifying our needs, our wants, our desires, then that is when kissing can become sinful. When it becomes about us then it is impure and no longer are we living to be sanctified and holy but we are living to chase after what brings us satisfaction. So we chose to stay away from kissing because of that fact, that it COULD become passionate and displeasing to the Lord. 

So is kissing wrong? Am I saying you cannot kiss before marriage and be in a Godly relationship? No, not at all. The Bible says nothing about dating. It only focuses on friendship, engagement and marriage. So with our previous struggles, we sought the Lord on how he would have us conduct ourselves in our relationship, and this is where we landed. I think there are boundaries that need to be set up in order for us to "Let the marriage bed be undefiled" (Heb. 13:4) I think that if we seek the Lord wholeheartedly he will guide us and direct us into his will and truth for our own individual relationships. He is our gracious Father, he desires to show us how to obey him and how to love another in a way that gives him glory. I think the best way for us to approach this is to remember the goal is sanctification, making us more like Jesus, and not passion or what feels good to us.

Let me tell you, all these kisses captured in these pictures above were sweet. They were much longed for and highly anticipated. 

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine..." (Song of Solomon 1:2)

I am grateful now for the gift of physical affection and intimacy in marriage all the more. It is a refreshing thing to be able to love without shame or guilt. 

I hope everyone hears my heart in this post and knows that this is simply my story and not what I feel the Lord calls every individual to. I would challenge you all to cry out to your Heavenly Father and ask for wisdom and guidance on how he would desire you to conduct yourself in a relationship, but that may not mean what it meant for Ben and I.  I have loved opening up about this today. 

Join me for a cup of tea (or coffee) over at The Birdie Bowl with Khala, SamanthaRenee, and Jenni (It's Jenni's birthday!!)

Also, thanks to a few awesome ladies I have already been able to cross off #25 on my 101 in 1001 list, check previous post or my tab for more details! YAY!